This is the president who won two consecutive terms in the White House by his masterly use of modern information technology. And, the reform measure, widely regarded as his signature achievement as president, has been under relentless attack even before he signed it into law on March 23, 2012.
Mr. Obama should have been on top of the developments leading to the launching of the website on Nov. 1 to ensure that everything worked smoothly and critics would be confounded by the success he envisioned.
But the website’s woes must not be confused with the law itself. It is highly unlikely that most of the critics know what they are criticizing because it is safe to assume that few of them have read the law, all 906 pages of it, and its attendant regulations. If they did, they most likely wouldn’t understand the legislative jargon. But they would know that, in this law, Mr. Obama staked his presidency on the simple premise that Americans deserve to have affordable health care.
Rather, the current vocal opposition is merely part of the sustained, vitriolic assaults launched against the president from the day he took office. He is supposed to be a closet Muslim out to destroy Christian America. He has been portrayed as a “witch doctor.” He is supposed to be a foreigner without the right to be in the White House. He is probably a “socialist” who is waging class warfare. And those are the attacks made in the open.
Such attacks originated with groups organized and financed by those who perceived the advent of a black president from humble origins as a threat to their positions of privilege and power. Through the miracle of the American political system, they have morphed into responsible citizen organizations out to protect the republic.
The political hacks who have come out of this mileu do not care that politics, by definition, is “the art of the deal,” as some put it, a matter of compromise, that when the elections are over, the task ahead is to work for the common good, not to be frontline warriors for ideological terrorists. They have no interest in exercising leadership that helps their constituents understand the complexities of today’s America and today’s world. They prefer to keep them ill-informed and misinformed because that is how they are able to lull them into a false sense of reality and win their votes.
That is the crux of the campaign whose only goal is to frustrate every initiative of Mr. Obama and make his presidency a failure. It is not enough that he has led the nation out of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, that he bailed out the major banks and saved the auto industry, that he ended the decade-long Iraq war and is ending the decade-long Afghanistan war.
It is not enough that he is a family man whose personal life is untouched by scandal, that he has an adoring wife and helpmeet, that he has two charming young daughters and understands the plight of the average American family, that, by the very nature of his upbringing, he is a caring person.
The problem is that there are Americans who do not have it in their DNA to accept the fact that a black man is in the White House. Anything else is just rationalization and cover for what, in another time, would have been blatant racism. The irony is that many people are allowing themselves to be fooled into thinking that he is the enemy.